Illicit drugs, pornography, home brew, gang paraphernalia
and weapons are among the 854 items of contraband discovered at
the Otago Corrections Facility in the past three years.
The Milburn jail had 19,123 visits by members of the public
between its opening in June 2007 and the end of last year.
Of the 6987 people who applied to be registered prison
visitors, 642 were declined for various reasons, including
attempting to bring in contraband and being subject to court
orders or charges.
The Department of Corrections provided contraband data to the
Otago Daily Times in response to an Official
Information Act request, but said the exact number of people
banned for attempting to bring contraband into the Otago
Corrections Facility (OCF) was ''not available''.
OCF prison manager Jack Harrison said the Milburn jail had a
single point of entry and a dedicated drug dog to detect
drugs on prison grounds, so levels of contraband were ''at
the lower end of the scale''.
Less than 2% of the prisoner population tested positive for
drugs, which was lower than the national average, he said.
Comparing prisons in respect of contraband was difficult
because each had its own particular factors, including
location, design, layout, prisoner status, arrival volumes,
prisoner numbers and transit from courts.
''For example, some prison perimeter fences are close to
public roads and prisoners' associates may attempt
throw-overs,'' Mr Harrison said.
''Unfortunately, some prisoners will constantly try to find
ways to challenge the system and attempt new ways to
introduce contraband into prison, so our staff must try to
stay ahead of them.
''The department's operational intelligence unit works
closely with front-line Corrections staff to identify and
analyse trends in contraband.
''We then use this information to help prevent contraband
entering prison and to improve prison security.''
Between December 1, 2009 and December 31, 2012 warnings about
contraband at the prison were given to 45 people and 75 items
In that time a total of 854 items, listed under 43 contraband
categories, were discovered at the prison.
Drugs included amphetamine and methamphetamine (six), as well
as cannabis leaf, cannabis oil and cannabinoids (50).
There were 96 items listed under ''drug indication'', four of
drug storage, one as ''powder other'', 14 listed as
pills/tablets/capsules and 13 as prescription medicine.
Also discovered were items of pornography (four), cellphones
(six), commercial alcohol (five), home brew and its
ingredients (15), improvised weapons (27), gang paraphernalia
(26), and tattooing equipment, including needles and ink
Three needles and 41 smoking devices were listed separately
to the 14 tattoo needles and 168 items under ''tobacco and
A club/baton was listed, as well as a firearm and four
Under ''modified equipment'' were 28 items, and there were
four cases of contraband money.
Also listed was a network device, three sim cards, a phone
charger, 17 ''stockpiled goods'', one ''throwover'' and four
items of ''T-Bomb'', a testosterone-enhancing substance.
Mr Harrison said those involved in attempting to smuggle
contraband into jail faced disciplinary action from
Corrections staff and/or police.
''Prisoners often place pressure on family or friends to
bring them contraband. However, we make it very clear that
anyone caught doing this will face consequences for their
''The security of our facilities is paramount and working to
detect drugs and other contraband before they enter our
facilities is at the forefront of our efforts every day.''